Many individuals end up with a torn ankle ligament while engaging in sports or in the workplace. A torn ligament is also called as a sprain. In severe cases of ankle sprains, surgery might be required to repair the torn ankle ligaments since they connect the bones in the joint.
The ligaments have a vital function in keeping the ankle bones in correct alignment so that the joint can function normally. Any form of exercise that can further strain a damaged ankle joint can lengthen the healing process or make the injury worse.
What to expect
A torn ankle ligament can be a sore and serious injury. If the doctor allows, the individual can resume his/her activities as long as they do not place any strain on the ankle joint such as cycling or swimming.
The activity level depends on the severity of the injury. Once the individual resumes his/her exercise, it is vital to avoid any that can cause swelling or pain on the ankle. If the individual resumes exercise before the injury can fully heal, it can make the injury worse. Once the individual suffers pain and/or swelling during exercise, use the RICE method to manage a torn ankle ligament to prevent further damage.
Exercises that involve rotation of the ankle joint can be problematic following a torn ankle ligament. Since the ligaments are responsible for attaching the bones in the ankle, joint movement before the injury is completely healed can worsen the symptoms.
It is vital to avoid exercise until the injury is fully healed. The healing period is usually based on the severity of the injury. The doctor might recommend avoiding exercise and any sports for up to 6 weeks after a severe injury.
Prevention of re-injury
Always bear in mind that prevention of re-injury is vital. In most circumstances, the doctor might recommend the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). This form of treatment is essential right after the injury to minimize the swelling and bruising.
Once the torn ankle ligament has healed, the doctor will require the individual to use a semi-rigid ankle brace while exercising. Other alternatives include an air-filled brace, taping, ankle wraps and high-top tennis shoes to prevent stress on the damaged ankle. As long as allowed by the doctor, there are exercises that the individual can perform to prevent re-injury.
Ideal exercises for injury prevention
Strengthening of the ankle muscles can protect the ligaments as well as avoid re-injury. Examples of suitable exercises include ankle circles and heel raises. The doctor might also recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles once the ligament has completely healed. In case the individual experiences swelling or pain while exercising, stop the activity and utilize the RICE method.